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Aunts and Uncles

  • Of all human relationships aunthood seemed to be the one I was born for.

  • Sometimes a child has a great urge to talk what its mother calls nonsense. Sometimes even a child's worry about death and about the beginning and the end of the universe seems like nonsense to the busy mother when she knows by taking one quick animal sniff of him that there is nothing wrong with him. This is where the good maiden aunt comes in.

  • The good aunt always gives to any kind of nieces and nephews the something extra, the something unexpected, the something which comes from outside the limits of their habitual world. She is an aviator from another country who drops leaflets out of the sky. She does not intend to start a revolution, she only wants them to learn that there are other countries besides their own.

  • The true aunt is the one who is unmarried ... she is different from other people — very different from mothers. Very different from other unmarried ladies who have no nieces and nephews — certainly different from a person who has nieces and nephews and doesn't like them. That kind of an aunt is an aunt in name only — not an aunt at all.

  • Like a daughter of joy, the maiden aunt belongs to everybody and to nobody.

  • I've got an uncle myself. Nobody should be held responsible for their uncles. Nature's little throwbacks — that's how I look at it.

  • Every man should have aunts. They illustrate the triumph of guesswork over logic.

  • ... she is the Buffer of civilization.

  • Aunts are discreet, a little shy / By instinct. They forbear to pry ...

  • ... fatherly and motherly hearts often beat warm and wise in the breasts of bachelor uncles and maiden aunts; and it is my private opinion that these worthy creatures are a beautiful provision of nature for the cherishing of other people's children.

  • ... she understood that aunts were in a class by themselves.

  • My uncle Max was a mountain, a shooting star, a big bear of a man, a piggyback ride waiting to happen, his pockets full of candy and, later money, or whatever the particular currency of our ages happened to be. He was rock concerts, baseball games, he was yes when my parents were no, he was a consolation for every disappointment.

  • Now, I have nothing to say against uncles in general. They are usually very excellent people, and very convenient to little boys and girls.

  • Women without children are also the best of mothers, often, with the patience, interest, and saving grace that the constant relationship with children cannot always sustain. I come to crave our talk and our daughters gain precious aunts. Women who are not mothering their own children have the clarity and focus to see deeply into the character of children webbed by family. A child is fortunate who feels witnessed as a person, outside relationships with parents, by another adult.